Legal Age to Work in Alaska

Minimum Age to Work in AK

Alaska (AK) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15May not be employed for more than a combined total of nine hours school attendance and employment in one day. Work may be performed only between 5:00am and 9:00pm.
16-17Cannot work more than six days a week
18-20A person under 21 may not be employed or allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages or to work on a licensed premise
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Alaska?

In Alaska, individuals as young as 14 years old may begin working in a variety of career areas. To keep young workers safe, the state enforces numerous labor laws for anyone under the age of 17. Most regulations apply to hazardous occupations requiring physical abilities or decision-making skills young adults may not yet possess. Regulations lessen with age. By the age of 18, young adults can work in any occupation in the state. A few regulations apply at the ages of 19 and 21 to address the handing and selling of age-restricted items, like alcohol and lottery tickets.

Alaska Child Labor Laws

Employment for Children Younger Than 14
A limited number of occupations exist for workers under the age of 14. However, youths may deliver papers or perform domestic jobs, such as baby-sitting and handiwork around the home. If placed under appropriate supervision, workers may also perform casing duties at cannery warehouses. Work permits issued from the Alaska Wage & Hour Administration allow children under 14 to work in the entertainment industry.

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How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?
During the school year, 14 and 15 year olds may work a maximum of 23 hours in a week and no more than six days in a row. On a school day, a youth may work a sum of nine hours between school attendance and employment. Available working hours extend from 5:00am to 9:00 pm, but youths may not work during school hours. Babysitting and home handiwork remain exceptions that youths may work outside of typical hours. During school vacations, youths may work between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm and total a maximum of 40 hours a week.

Restricted Occupations for Minors 17 and Under

  • Manufacturing, Handing, or Using Explosives
  • Driving Motor Vehicles
  • Mining
  • Logging
  • Use of Power-Driven Wood-Working Machines
  • Exposure to Radioactive Materials
  • Working with Elevators or Power-Driven Hoists
  • Operating Power-Driven Metal-Working Machines, i.e. Punches and Shears
  • Slaughtering and Meat-Packing Jobs
  • Operating Power-Driven Bakery Machines
  • Operating Power-Driven Paper Product Machines
  • Manufacturing Bricks and Tiles
  • Operating Circular-Saws, Band Saws, and Guillotine Shears
  • Wrecking and Demolition Operations
  • Roofing Operations
  • Excavation Operations
  • Electrical Work with Voltage >200
  • Working around Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Canvasing, Solicitation, or Door-to-Door Sales

Restricted Occupations for 14 and 15 year olds

In addition to the occupations banned for workers 17 and under, Alaska prohibits 14 and 15 year olds from performing the following occupations:

  • Manufacturing of Goods or Processing of Materials
  • Construction, with the Exception of Office or Clerical Work
  • Boiler Room or Engine Repair
  • Maintenance or Repair of Machinery or Equipment
  • Jobs Involving the Use of Ladders or Scaffolds
  • Work in Freezers or Meat Coolers
  • Meat Preparation
  • Loading and Unloading Delivery Vehicles and Rail Cars
  • Sharpening Tools
  • Transportation of Persons, with the Exception of Office or Clerical Work
  • Warehouse Work, with the Exception of Office or Clerical work


State law requires anyone under the age of 18 to receive a 30-minute break if scheduled to work six or more hours. Employers must assign breaks after the first hour and half of work and before the last hour of work. Youths under the age of 18 working five consecutive hours must take 30-minute breaks before resuming.

Sale of Restricted Items

No one below the age of 21 may sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Young adults ages 18 to 20 may work on the grounds of establishments that sell alcohol, such as hotels and restaurants. However, state law prohibits minors from mixing, delivering, or dispensing alcoholic beverages at any time. With parental consent and work permits authorized by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, sixteen and seventeen year olds may work in environments where alcohol sales take place. Anyone younger than sixteen may not work at establishments that serve alcohol.

Tobacco and Pull Tabs
Individuals under 19 years old may not sell tobacco or tobacco products at any time during employment. Additionally, employers must restrict access to the age-restricted products by underage employees. The state also prohibits anyone under 21 from selling pull-tab lottery tickets.

Age Certification

When hiring minors, employers need to obtain proof of age from state or federally issues documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, federal age certificates, and authenticated school records. The documents must stay on file through the duration of employment.

source: Alaska child labor laws

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